Concord (Calif.) De La Salle is one of the few schools still playing football this season - but that doesn't mean the perennial power isn't already looking ahead to next.
De La Salle will host Colorado power Denver (Colo.) Mullen on Sept. 7. The game was first reported in the Denver Post.
The matchup is huge for Mullen - and the state of Colorado - according to RivalsHigh national analyst Dallas Jackson.
"This is a major game for Mullen and Colorado football," Jackson said. "There has been a collective wait-and-see on Mullen in recent years, despite some very good teams, because we have not been able to measure them in out-of-state games. While Colorado football is slowly improving, it is still a non-power state so landing a date with a perennial power like De La Salle is ideal."
Mullen went 9-3 this season, but its status as a top-flight program has long been established. The school won three consecutive state titles in 2008-10 in Class 5A - the biggest in the state. The school had an impressive 34-game win streak during the run as well and finished in the final RivalsHigh 100 twice, including No. 21 in 2009 and No. 16 in 2010.
The only knock against Mullen during the run was its schedule, as it rarely left the state - something few teams in Colorado did.
That apparently is changing.
No. 39 Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian, which will move up to Class 5A after winning its third-straight state title, also hopes to hit the road in search of more competition.
"It's something we're interested in doing," head coach Brent Vieselmeyer said.
Vieselemeyer, who came from California when Valor Christian opened five years ago, said doing so isn't as easy as it seems.
"With all the different states' rules [on scheduling], it's very difficult to do," he said. "You have to get approval. We're able to travel and I think we're set to travel to at least one game. But nowadays it's gotten so difficult."
Coincidentally, now that this game is set, others may be easier to schedule - simply because De La Salle (a coveted opponent) has its schedule set.
"De La Salle is one of the first names that comes out of every coach or administrators mouth that I talk to in the offseason when they are asking about games," Jackson said. "Now that De La Salle has its non-section games set, other dominoes are likely to start falling."